Monday, 13th May, 2013
By Darrin Manuel
Broken Hill has stunned Far North and reclaimed the Miners Cup with a commanding 39 point win at AAMI Stadium.
Coach David Ruddock’s plan to outrun his opposition paid dividends as the match wore on, with Broken Hill extending its lead at each break.
The Broken Hill team got away to a shaky start in the first quarter, squandering several chances in front of goal before Nathan Kickett took a strong contested mark and kicked truly to get the team’s first major score on the board.
Far North were playing undisciplined football and often hugged the boundary, while Broken Hill surged through the middle of the ground at every opportunity to take a three-point lead into quarter time.
Codie Howard opened the second quarter in sensational style, spinning through tackles and fending off to inspire his teammates with a great goal.
Ben Perkins and Justin Heath then got involved in the scoring, slotting majors after marking inside the 50 metre arc.
Midway through the second term Far North finally found their rhythm, and kicked three of the next four goals with sharp, direct football through the corridor.
A goal to co-captain Jayden Kelly before half time maintained some breathing space, and allowed Broken Hill to take an 18-point buffer into the long break.
Kelly and Ruddock were both vocal during half time, and implored their charges to exploit the opposition’s lack of fitness.
The players responded with a workmanlike third quarter that resulted in two goals to Perkins and a trademark running goal to Anthony Henderson.
Broken Hill’s dominance led to a boilover of frustration for Far North, with one of their players punching youngster Cohen Pettitt behind play and sparking a heated response from Broken Hill.
Pettitt and his teammates would have the last laugh however, with Henderson kicking the opening goal of the last quarter before Pettitt launched a 50m bomb to secure a 39-point lead and effectively end the contest.
Far North managed two more goals in the final quarter, but never looked truly threatening as Broken Hill answered with goals to Heath and Jelbert.
Broken Hill’s best player was Centre Half Back Brenton Zanette, who shut down his opponent and controlled the backline with strong marking and spoiling.
He was well supported in defence by Jake Napier, Brent Rose and Matt Dempster who all provided significant drive out of the back half.
Jayden Kelly and Jordan Johns vindicated their selections as co-captains with outstanding performances, with Johns’ final quarter particularly impressive.
Heath Caldwell, Justin Heath, Cohen Pettitt, Codie Howard and Ben Perkins were also solid contributors throughout the match.
After the match Ruddock lauded the effort of his backline, and said all players had done their city proud.
“It was very, very good, they came out as expected and hit us hard early, but we knew we had the overall run and onball rotation to get us through,” he said.
“The backline was great, but all the players played to instruction.
“We had no passengers today, and when you take 23 players away and they all perform, you’re always going to come away pretty happy as a coach.”
The players’ efforts were appreciated by team sponsor CFMEU, who allowed the players to keep their blue and gold guernseys.
“It’s just reward for their efforts,” said BIC President, Danny O’Connor.
“We’re very proud of how the boys represented Broken Hill today, the way all players have done so over the years.
“They’ve come out and stood up for Broken Hill, and it’s just a small token of our appreciation.”
Broken Hill: 13.16 (94) def Far North: 8.7 (55)
Goalkickers: Perkins 3, Heath, Kickett, Henderson 2, Howard, Kelly, Pettitt, Jelbert